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Match Reports 2015


Posted by: webmaster on Monday July 27, 2015 (13:58:25)   (4714 Reads)

Disclaimer: this report has been written WITHOUT the scorecard, hence some imprecision regarding how and when the runs were scored.

On an early July evening, the outlook appeared bleak for Chantilly Cricket Club’s first midweek T20 match. The heatwave had been replaced by grey skies, blustery winds and – as the start of the match grew near – sheets of rain! It was more of a wet splash than the Big Bash.

However the presence of only two Chantilly players meant the match had to be delayed anyway. Luckily the arrival of Matt, on loan from British Embassy and our wicketkeeper for the game, meant that Eddy and Robin could realistically envisage bowling the opening overs and taking on the might of the Australian touring party. These Antipodeans had taken Shane Warne’s advice and travelled by coach, though not necessarily all the way. The Melbourne CC XXIX Club had visited and played in Italy before arriving in Paris to experience French cricket. They were then to head for England and some more games followed by some Ashes cricket at Lord’s.

The tourists had kindly agreed to field a team similar in ability to our own. That obviously meant Chantilly was up against a team of crack athletes.
By now Eddy had got his gazebos up (not a euphemism), the 29ers were venturing out from the comfort zone of their warm coach and the other Chantilly players were trickling in.

Game on!


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Batting first the MCC got off to a slow start against some very tight bowling from Eddy, some tightish bowling from Robin (made to look tighter by some excellent ground fielding from Saravan and Patch) and Chantilly’s secret weapon: the variable bounce of the pitch. Halfway through the first innings, Chantilly was quite happy with the situation and looking to keep the scoring down and the total under par. However with the opposition batsmen now set and the second and third change bowlers on, the runs started to flow. The tactic of bowling wide, wider and down leg kept Matt busy behind the stumps. From time to time, more to the bamboozlement of the fielders than to the batsmen, a ball would arrive on middle stump.

At the end of their innings the Aussies had reached a competitive total and seemed less inclined to view our pitch with suspicion. Making the visitors believe the pitch is in a fit state is a tricky art but Eddy’s captaincy (in fine Chantilly tradition) made sure the game was played in the right spirit.
During the break, more spirits were on display with Chantilly’s spirit of hospitality putting a smile on everyone’s face as the cheeses were brought out, the bottles uncorked (special mention to Nick’s Bordeaux), the beers opened and the sandwiches and cakes passed round. This was social cricket at its best.

Whether Chantilly’s batting was cricket at its best is a debatable point but a neutral spectator (aka the match reporter’s dad) thought the club put on a good show of trying to chase down the target with useful innings from Matt and Eddy. Never far behind the run rate, CCC entered the final overs with the tail-enders at the crease with too much to do. Watching most of this happen safely from the non-strikers end, the match reporter thought two champagne moments stood-out:

1. Jack rubbing up eleven Australians the wrong way (not a euphemism), by giving the impression he was right handed as he strode to the crease, asked for his guard and adjusted his gloves before taking his customary left-handed stance as the bowler prepared to run-up… only to be bowled first ball!
2. Roddy surviving a hat-trick ball and then competently nudging a four off the next ball. It’s surely time for a promotion.

The match completed, it was time for some serious match presentations. Surrounded by a sea of blue and red blazers, the Melbourne colours, the opposing captain was presented with a Chantilly cap and a bottle of Champagne to celebrate the victory. He then presented Eddy with a cap and tie, a plate for his man-of-the-match performance (two wickets for seven runs and Chantilly’s top-score), the club secretary with a commemorative shield and Roddy (or Wally as they seem to pronounce it in Australia) with a bottle opener for his batting heroics.

As dusk fell it was time, after some more beers and stories, for the Melburnians to head off back to Paris.

The bleak outlook had been stood on its head – or seen from the perspective of the Southern hemisphere – all in all it had been a very enjoyable evening.
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